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Mbundu

Mbundu (əmbōōn´dōō), black African ethnic group, W Angola. The Mbundu speak Bantu languages and number about 6 million. By the late 15th cent. they had formed the Ndongo kingdom, ruled by the ngola (from which the Portuguese derived the name Angola). Beginning in the early 16th cent. Ndongo was raided for slaves by its northern neighbor, the kingdom of the Kongo, which sold them to the Portuguese. In 1579 the Portuguese first attempted to conquer Ndongo; however, the Mbundu resisted fiercely and it was not until 1683 that the kingdom was definitively defeated. In the 1970s the Mbundu were the strongest supporters of the Marxist-oriented movement for the Liberation of Angola.

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Angola

Angola

ANGOLANS 39

The people of Angola are called Angolans. More than 95 percent of the population of Angola speaks one of the many Bantu languages. The largest Bantu-speaking groups are the Ovimbundu (37 percent), the Mbundu (22 percent), and the Bakongo (13 percent). To learn more about Bakongo, see the chapter on the Republic of Congo in Volume 2. The mestizo (mixed-heritage) population is about 200,000, and there are about 10,000 whites, mostly of Portuguese descent.

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